Abramoff and the White House: More Than Photo Ops
Just the kind of story that's going to get buried on a Saturday: GOP bigwig and former White House political director Ken Mehlman pitched in with various pet projects of superlobbyist Jack Abramoff's. Yes, it turns out that 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue now works just like your basic Congressional office: Any agenda, no matter how picayune, is worthy of top-level attention, as long as the money is right. Want a State Department official who's been making trouble for sweatshops fired? Want subsidies for a project the government itself says is unnecessary? Call the White House, and make sure you let them know what you've done for hte GOP lately. Not that we didn't sort of know this; but there's something in seeing it laid out quite this plainly:
"I was a gateway," Mehlman said in an interview. "It was my job to talk to political supporters, to hear their requests, and hand them on to policymakers."